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Urban outfitters group posts record quarterly sales surge

Sales for US fashion group Urban Outfitters during the third quarter of the 2017-18 fiscal year were valued at $892.8 million (€761 million), as against to $862.5 million last year, equivalent to a 3.5 per cent rise on a yearly basis. It was a record quarterly result which surprised financial analysts who predicted a revenue of $861 million for the quarter ending on 31st October. The positive performance was driven by comp sales growth generated by the group's Free People (+5 per cent) and Anthropologie (+2 per cent) labels, though the group's leading brand, Urban Outfitters, was on the up too (+1 per cent). As for the group's net income, it fell slightly, down to $45.1 million, as against the $47.4 million produced the year ago period.

Frank Conforti, the group's CFO was reported to have exulted, "The store’s traffic improved in the quarter, thanks to a strong increase in the European market." However, analysts were told that retail sales for Urban Outfitters stores in North America were declining.

The group manages 616 stores, the majority of them located in North America. In Europe, it currently operates 57 stores, of which 46 with the Urban Outfitters brand and 11 with Anthropologie. The group's labels are all still planning to expand in Europe. Real estate specialists Knight Frank notes that Urban Outfitters will open its first Parisian flagship store in rue de Rivoli and is targeting to open its first store in Italy, in Milan, shortly.

Also Free People is broadening its European footprint. Sheila Harrington, the women’s wear label's President, said that a wholesale distribution deal has been struck with a French

distributor along with similar agreements for Italy and Spain are also expected to be signed in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, Free People's international revenue rose by 26 per cent largely due to the wholesale channel and the e-tail business.